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New senator says he won't vote Republican only

New senator says he won't vote Republican only

The Republican who won the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's former U.S. Senate seat, a stunning upset for Democrats, says he has told his party members in Congress that they won't always be able to count on his vote.
Scott Brown staged an upset in last week's Massachusetts Senate special election in part by pledging to be the 41st Republican vote against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. He told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that he staked his claim in early conversations with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip Jon Kyl.
"I already told them, you know, `I got here with the help of a close group of friends and very little help from anyone down there, so there'll be issues when I'll be with you and there are issues when I won't be with you,'" Brown said Thursday during the half-hour interview. "So, I just need to look at each vote and then make a proper analysis and then decide."
Asked how McConnell and Kyl responded, Brown said, "They understood. They said, `You can probably do whatever you want, Scott. And, so, just let us know where your head's at, and we'll talk it through, and just keep us posted.'"
The senator-elect did not elaborate on possible breaking points, though the Washington newcomer dismissed any suggestion he will relent once he starts working in the highly partisan capital.
Brown expects to be sworn in on Feb. 11, after all absentee ballots are counted and Massachusetts has certified the special election results.
He beat Democrat Martha Coakley to win the seat held for nearly a half-century by Kennedy. The result rocked both the Democratic Party and the Obama administration, which viewed the seat as safe and Coakley as the pivotal 60th vote to preserve a Democratic supermajority in the Senate that can stop Republican tactics to stall voting on legislation.
Obama responded to the voter anger expressed in the election by retooling his administration's focus from the health care overhaul to job creation. It was the focus on his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, which Brown watched.
"I thought it was a good first step," said Brown. "And I appreciated his sort of overtures to have more transparency and move involvement between the parties."
Yet the senator-elect said he was concerned some spending controls and other changes were not projected to take effect until 2011.


Updated : 2021-06-22 23:13 GMT+08:00